Nathaniel Cotton

Hieronder het artikel uit Chambers’s cyclopædia of English Literature uit 1886 over Nathaniel Cotton.


Letter NNathaniel Cotton (1707-1788) wrote Visions in Verse, for children, and a volume of poetical Miscellanies. He followed the medical profession in St.Albans, and was distinguished for his skill in the treatment of cases of insanity. Cowper, his patient, bears evidence to his „well-known humanity and sweetness of temper.”

The Fireside

Dear Chloe, while the busy crowd,
The vain, the wealthy, and the proud,
          In folly’s maze advance;
Though singularity and pride
Be called our choice, we’ll step aside,
          Nor join the giddy dance.

From the gay world we’ll oft retire
To our own family and fire,
          Where love our hours employs;
No noisy neighbour enters here;
Nor intermeddling stranger near,
          To spoil our heartfelt joys.

If solid happiness we prize,
Within our breast this jewel lies;
          And they are fools who roam:
The world has nothing to bestow;
From our own selves our joys must flow,
          And the dear hut – our home.

Of rest was Noah’s dove bereft,
When with impatient wing she left
          That safe retreat, the ark;
Giving her vain excursion o’er,
The disappointed bird once more
          Explored the sacred bark.

Though fools spurn Hymen’s gentle powers,
We, who improve his golden hours,
          By sweet experience know,
That marriage, rightly understood,
Gives to the tender and the good
          A paradise below.

Our babes shall richest comforts bring;
If tutored right, they’ll prove a spring
          Whence pleasures ever rise:
We’ll form their minds, with studious care,
To all that’s manly, good and fair,
          And train them for the skies.

While they our wisest hours engage,
They’ll joy out youth, support our age,
          And crown our hoary hairs:
They’ll grow in virtue every day;
And thus our fondest loves repay,
          And recompense our cares.

No borrowed joys, they’re all our own,
While to the world we live unknown,
          Or by the world forgot:
Monarchs! we envy not your state;
We look with pity on the great
          And bless our humbler lot.

Our portion is not large, indeed;
But then how little do we need!
          For nature’s calls are few:
In this the art of living lies,
To want no more than may suffice,
          And make that little do.

We’ll therefore relish with content
Whate’er kind providence has sent,
          Nor aim beyond our power;
For, if our stock be very small,
‘Tis prudence to enjoy it all,
          Nor lose the present hour.

To be resigned when ills betide,
Patient when favours are denied,
          And pleased with favours given;
Dear Chloe, this is wisdom’s part;
This is that incense of the heart,
          Whose fragrance smells to heaven.

We’ll ask no long-protracted treat,
Since winter-life is seldom sweet;
          But when our feast is o’er,
Grateful from table we’ll arise,
Nor grudge our sons with envious eyes
          The relics of our store.

Thus, hand in hand, through life we’ll go;
In checkered paths of joy and woe
          With cautious steps we’ll tread;
Quit its vain scenes without a tear,
Without a trouble or a fear,
          And mingle with the dead:

While conscience, like a faithful friend,
Shall through the gloomy vale attend,
          And cheer our dying breath;
Shall, when all other comforts cease,
Like a kind angel, whisper peace,
          And smooth the bed of death.